Jennifer Sherrill has been a musician and teacher in the Chicago region for the past twenty years. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in vocal performance and vocal pedagogy from Northern Illinois University and North Park University. She has served as cantor and youth choir director for Saint Gregory the Great on the north side of Chicago and has introduced countless young students to the joys of piano, ukulele, and singing.
Since 2017, Jennifer has traveled repeatedly to Lesvos, Greece, where she has helped to implement music curriculum into the refugee camps and community centers on the island. She has worked with Connect by Music and Lesvos Solidarity, teaching in the Mosaik Community Center and the refugee camps, Moria, Kara Tepe and Pikpa. She has also partnered with the local Greek community to host recitals featuring local musicians alongside musicians from the United States.
In 2019, Jennifer co-founded the Chicago-based Thousand Mile Choir, a community choir focused on the goal of belonging through music. The repertoire for this group was sourced from the varying backgrounds of its members and was taught through both rote and note-reading. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, rehearsals moved online and were able to incorporate Greek and French language coaching from teachers on Lesvos.
Jennifer’s research interests include musical migration, in reference to both the present-day refugee crisis and to the migration of people following the 1922 Greco-Turkish War. She is also interested in ways in which the power of music creates the soundscape of home.